David Gilbert wrote:So whoâ€™s going to North Shields? Answers beneath please!
I'll be there and my entry form is ready to post. Sadly some folk down south believe the Tyne is a northern bridge too far or they canâ€™t be bothered to learn a new language. Anyway they are either wavering or have already decided not to come.
Numbers do look down at the moment. I counted just 109 entries this morning. Around this time last year Carl Hibbard reported there had been 181 entries for Sheffield by the end of May 2011 (which he said was down on the same period for Canterbury in 2010).
One person told me they had been put off going by last yearâ€™s mother of all chess rows and wonâ€™t be going again until the fatwa against the President is repealed and hatchets are buried on both sides. Which seems unlikely given the entrench positions. And then there's the attraction of the Olympics. These are no doubt contributory factors.
However, Iâ€™m not sure what to make of the latest figures. Lara reported a month ago that five GMs had confirmed their places - yet only one appears on the list. And the family Camp have been perplexed why their names are missing when entry fees were charged to their account weeks ago. Perhaps in the next update weâ€™ll see numbers soar as the absent entries are discovered - surely there must be more than 109?
Itâ€™s still going to be a great fortnight - are you going?
With respect a lot of people feel that the "fatwa" is working the other way and that the President and his friends are briefing and undermining those organising this year's event. All the president needs to do is admit his actions in Sheffield - in going too hastily to the press, most people are willing to accept what happened prior to that was a misunderstanding - have had unforseen consequences and have been very damaging for one person in particular and take a lead in setting the record straight by refuting those people who still misrepresent what happened. The President would hopefully be welcomed back with open arms if he could do this; most people are sick of constant schisms in chess and it's worth noting that the President could have been the one to lead us away from that for once and for all.
I am planning to go (first time I've been to the British) although it will most likely be as a spectator on a day trip. It depends on what day(s) I get off during the championship.